Inclusions & Exclusions

The time has come to list your home for sale and it is decision making time with regards to the inclusions and exclusions in your listing contract.  What are you willing to leave for the buyer?  What must you take with you due to sentimental value? Should you exclude those items you want to take with you or should you remove them before the potential buyers see them and want them included?  

Well, that depends.  Sometimes those sentimental items such as chandeliers, mirrors, sconces, gazebos, patio furniture, etc. make your house show better while on the market.  But you can be almost sure that the buyer will also love them and include them in the offer.

Sometimes there are chattels such as appliances, that are not mentioned in the listing as inclusions or exclusions.  Many sellers feel these items are negotiating factors.  If the price is right, the buyer can keep them.  Often the seller (wife) wants new appliances in the new house anyway, so best to just include them in the sale. Of course any built-ins should automatically stay with the house.  And what the buyer sees is what they get.  Do not switch appliances before closing or you will be hearing from the buyer’s lawyer. 

As for Inclusions & exclusions, I prefer that my sellers remove any items that they wish to take with them, before the home is listed.  Out of buyer’s sight, out of buyer’s mind.  The agreement of purchase and sale is for the house, not the chattels. I am in the house selling business, not the used appliance business.

Many offer negotiations get tangled up with inclusions.  When including chattels, make sure they are all in good working order or else make sure they are noted in the listing as in “as is” condition.  Buyers today expect all chattels to be in good working order on the date of closing and you don’t want to get a call from your lawyer the day after closing stating that the washing machine is leaking.

What are the most common chattels that are included in an agreement of purchase and sale?

  • Appliances
  • Window coverings
  • Garage door openers and remotes
  • Electric light fixtures & ceiling fans
  • Central Vacuum and attachments
  • Gas and electric fireplaces
  • Home theatre televisions and surround sound
  • Swing sets/play houses
  • Built-in shelves and work benches

If you have furniture that you are willing to sell let the buyer know in case they may be interested in purchasing.  Everything else that is not included must be removed from the home on or before the date of completion.  The home should be left vacant and in swept clean condition.

If it is not, you may expect a call from your lawyer. It is important to leave your home in the same condition you would expect to find in your new home.  Sometimes it is well worth hiring a maid service to do this job for you.  Closing day is very stressful and it is well worth the money to have this chore taken care of.

You will have lots of work to do directing the movers and helpers and organizing the new home.  Don’t forget to leave the extra keys and remotes for the garage door on the counter for the new owner. Leave them a welcome note and hope they enjoy the home as much as you did.  


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